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Topshop Settles, Targets U.S.

Topshop, the U.K. retailer, is reigniting its American expansion plans after settling a suit over rights to the Topshop name in the U.S.

Topshop, the U.K. retailer, is reigniting its American expansion plans after settling a suit over rights to the Topshop name in the U.S.

Arcadia, the parent of the fast-fashion retailer, was sued in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York last month by Nevada Apparel Corp., a New York-based women’s clothing company, which claimed it owned the mark in the U.S.

Philip Green, Arcadia’s owner, said Wednesday the litigation has now been settled. Nevada has agreed to relinquish its claim to the Topshop name and to transfer all its rights to Arcadia. The settlement has been approved by the court. Green declined to disclose terms of the settlement. Peter Sloane, an attorney with Ostrolenk, Faber, Gerb & Soffen LLP, which represented Nevada Apparel, also declined to comment on the agreement.

“We are now in control of the brand,” Green told WWD. “But what this litigation did was to reveal the vast amount of interest from all sectors in Topshop coming to America.”

Green revealed in June that Topshop was planning to open a store in the U.S., probably in New York, as soon as next spring. The store will aim to replicate the Topshop flagship in London, and will be 60,000 to 90,000 square feet in size. Topshop then would expand into other areas of the U.S.

The billionaire retail tycoon said the London store has been performing strongly in the last few weeks, with double-digit comp-store sales increases over a year ago.

While Green indicated in June that he had found a potential site for a New York store, he said he now will have to restart the process. At this stage, it is unclear whether the first Topshop store in America will be in New York. He hopes to open a store in America within the next year.

“There are points for and against,” Green said. “New York has an element of safety but some experienced U.S. retailers tell me it isn’t a good proving ground for the rest of the U.S. But what we have received over the last few weeks is significant interest from major U.S. retailers in partnering with us in the U.S. We are thinking that they could take a 10 to 20 percent interest in the American operation and help us with such things as staffing and logistics and we are prepared to discuss that.”

This story first appeared in the August 31, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Meanwhile, Topshop is pushing forward with plans to launch a new platform for its Web site. It currently has a transactional Web site in the U.K., but Green said the retailer hopes to launch a new version that would enable overseas consumers to buy from the site. The updated Web site should go live before Christmas, he said.

As for speculation that Green might step into the bidding for David’s Bridal, the retail chain being sold by Federated Department Stores, the British executive dismissed it. “I don’t know anyone named David who’s getting married,” he quipped.

Nevada Apparel plans to rebrand its Top­shop women’s wear. “Nevada looks forward to continuing to serve that customer base with fashionable women’s apparel,” said Robert C. Faber, a partner at Ostrolenk, Faber, Gerb & Soffen, in a statement.